West Vancouver, B.C.— West Vancouver’s demographics are changing, and the demand for unique tools and programs to support a healthier community is increasing. The West Vancouver Memorial Library’s new Brain Health Collection, launching September 21, is an important step towards addressing this need, and all you need to access the collection is your library card. Everyone is invited to the Brain Health Collection Launch to try out items in the collection on Tuesday, September 26, from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Library’s Welsh Hall.
The Brain Health Collection includes 19 components: light therapy lamps, Simple Music Players, puzzles, games, and more. One of the cutting-edge tools is the TOOLBOX365 by Total Brain Health, a series of simple but intriguing questions created by Cynthia R. Green, PhD, a leading clinical psychologist. It focuses on the four facets of well-being: emotional, spiritual, physical, and social.
Scientific research has repeatedly underscored that it is never too early or too late to care for our brain health. “Our approach is grounded in what the Alzheimer’s Society of BC and healthcare providers say is what we all need to be focusing on now to keep our brains healthy for longer,” says librarian Ehlam Zaminpaima, WVML’s Customer and Community Experience Coordinator with Accessible Services.
While the collection has been curated to support people living with neurocognitive disorders such as strokes, dementia, Parkinson’s, or Huntington’s and their caregivers, it is available to anyone who finds benefit from the brain health exercises and tools.
Zaminpaima has a deep-rooted professional and personal interest in seeing this collection take off. As one of WVML’s Accessible Services staff, she routinely works with some of West Vancouver’s over 12,575 seniors and those who may face barriers to accessing library services. That number is set to grow, particularly as an estimated 70,000 people are living with some form of dementia in BC, a number which is expected to double by 2031.
Zaminpaima’s grandmother, who had dementia, couldn’t access these activities. As her disease progressed, it impacted her quality of life, making it more difficult for her caregivers and immediate family to keep her brain engaged.
“While I didn’t get to use the Simple Music Player or the 13-piece sheepdog puzzles with my grandmother, I know that these items, with their unique conversation starters and simple user design, will allow patrons like her to use these materials with family members, caregivers, or service providers and create chances for meaningful social connections, which are vital to people as they age.”
That’s why the WVML Foundation decided to finance the much-needed Brain Health Collection and Brain Health Series of events at the Library. Some of the items in the new collection cost over $100 each, making them unaffordable for many.
“Today, with many of us living longer lives, we are also likely to have friends or family who experience brain health issues such as memory loss, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease. It is wonderful that WVML has developed the Brain Health Collection and event series offering activities and programming to support those impacted directly and their caregivers,” says Heather Kaart, Library Foundation Board Chair.
To donate in support of important services like these, visit wvml.ca/give.
To register for the Brain Health Collection Launch event on September 26, visit wvml.ca/brainhealth.